Emily Dickinson Because I Could Not Stop For Death Analysis

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Emily Dickinson is one of the most famous American poets, well known for her strange use of punctuation, the widespread assumption that she had agoraphobia, and her poems about death and immortality. Her fear of going outside combined with the countless number of deceased she faced in her own life contributed to her poetry significantly. Her poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, however, takes on a different facade and forces readers to think more appreciatively on the topic. In the poem, the speaker is taken on a ride by a gentlemanly suitor, Death, and visits her past until finally reaching her ultimate demise. Although she faced many deaths of family and friends throughout her own life, Emily Dickinson shines a pleasant light on death …show more content…
Emily Dickinson did live fifteen years next to a cemetery, after all, as the Emily Dickinson Museum points out in their online article. Perhaps this article should be viewed more gothically considering how many deaths Dickinson did mourn throughout her life, and some of her other poems are more grotesque on the topic of the afterlife, but the dates are wrong, as Huff points out. He writes that “The immortality… is not the lasting literary fame of the author; the dates are wrong…” “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” was written in 1862. Dickinson didn’t really face a lot of close deaths until after this date. Her beloved nephew Gilbert died at the age of eight in 1883, and this was a severe blow to Dickinson, and her sister even noticed (Leiter). Her lover Judge Otis Phillips died of a stroke in March 1884, her mother in November 1882, her father in 1874, and her close friend Eliza in 1871 (Leiter). All of these deaths followed the writing of “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” Emily Dickinson was not a old woman when she wrote the poem, and was most likely less afraid of death herself because she was young, and death wasn’t going to come to her for another twenty years, and that’s most likely why the poem isn’t as ghastly as some of her other works. The Emily Dickinson Museum also says that while some of her letters and poems were a bit morbid, it was not uncommon for …show more content…
She also comes to surmise that the horses driving the carriage were really taking her to eternity, indicating that Dickinson wanted to show that death was forever, but it was pleasant enough that the speaker didn’t notice time passing. The speaker also managed to remain content throughout the whole ordeal. Huff agrees, writing that “he personality (the most important aspect of her individuality) has been kept intact.” He mentions that she even remains intellectually stimulated in her guessing that the horses’ heads were turned toward

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